am from a family known in Damascus as Farhi.
My father was Baron Rothschild's agent, and bought for him four estates in the Golan
Q: Your father was an agent of Baron Rothschild and you say he bought him four estates in the Golan? Which estates?
A: I do not know the name. One Jelin, ...
A: Jelin. It was in 1904. I was not alive. Then, when the first war began, my dad was arrested.
Q: Arrested your father in World War I? Why?
A: He worked for a Frenchman.
Q: Ah, because he worked with a Frenchman, Baron Rothschild? And the Turks did not allow it?
A: They did not allow it. This was the beginning of the war. So they arrested him and took all the money from us. We could not release him. They said they would send him to exile ... they killed him.
Q: What was your father's name?
A: Ovadia Farhi.
Q: What was he doing? What was his job?
A: ... First of all he had
Q: Ah, he was Baron Rothschild's clerk?
A: Yes. Prior to that, he was an official in the Syrian government in the Golan. Baron Rothschild [told him] - if you know the Golan, Well, I want to buy it. And he bought it for him.
Q: He bought him four estates?
A: Yes, and gave it to him.
Q: The estates were registered in the name of Baron Rothschild?
A: Yes. The money of the lands comes from all ... he said - send whoever wants to go to America. Whoever wants and asks, then - you'll give him money.
Q: Baron Rothschild gave him money to ...
A: ... the Baron did not want the money, he wanted to give it to the poor. He told him to take care of it. He gave it to him.
Q: Was your father the Baron Rothschild's licensee or agent?
A: Yes. The Baron came to us in Damascus three times to visit ...
Q: In your house?
Q: In what years?
A: It was in 1912
Q: That year he came three times?
A: No. After a few months like that.
Q: In 1912, do you say that Baron Rothschild came to the house?
A: Almost, I do not remember.
Q: More or less.
A: Because I was ...
Q: You were young, yes. What did he come to your house for?
A: To see how the work was going on. I know what? ... With my father. Then they came and took him and killed him. We were left with nothing.
Q: What did the family do?
A: I had a grandfather. Grandpa took care of us until the war was over. After the war Rothschild knew what had happened, so he took care of my mother.
Q: What's your mother's name?
A: Rosa Farhi.
Q: Do you belong to the well-known Farhi family?
A: Yes, but not us. Grandpa's grandfather.
Q: Yes, I understand.
A: It did not reach us. It stopped
Q: Decades ago.
Q: Did you go to school?
A: Yes, in Alliance in Damascus. I then moved to Beirut.
Q: Why did you move to Beirut?
A: My uncle on my father's side was [there]. He had no children so I went to him. ... in our [house] it was very difficult. big house ... and Mom always had to take care of me, so I moved in with him.
Q: So you moved to your uncle in Beirut. What's his name?
A: Aaron Farhi.
Q: And you lived there with him in Beirut?
Q: From what year?
A: After the war
A: Say 1920. I do not remember.
Q: 1020 more or less.
A: The big brothers went to America, one to Argentina and the other I forgot. Oh, Australia.
Q: Beautiful. I see you remember well.
A: It's age, what do you think?
Q: Yes, but I see that you still remember well.
Q: In what year were you born?
A: 1907. I'm young.
Q: True. 91 It's not much overall. And you laugh, you have a mood, it's very beautiful. Tell me, you live in Beirut with your uncle Aharon from the Farhi family. What do you do there?
A: Nothing ...
Q: Did you not go to work or study?
A: No, nothing.
Q: So when do you get married?
A: I married one from Haifa from Beit Katran. He ... in Damascus and worked ..., so he came to Damascus. There was a bit of family closeness, indirect.
Q: You say Katran, what is your husband's name?
Q: Oh, yes, I see: "Mr. Leon Yehuda Katran." There are those who write it Katraan, right. But by what That I see here in the certificate is is Ktaran. I see that on January 29, 1973, your husband received an honorary citizenship certificate of
The city of Haifa from [Moshe] Fliman, the mayor.
A: This is the first ... three ...
Q: He received three honorary citizenships?
A: No. He gave to three. ...
Q: He gave a citizenship certificate to three people.
A: What is this nursing home called?
Q: The Sephardic Nursing Home.
A: But who built it? Halfon. There were a Katran and a Halfon in the Sepharadic. And I helped them.
Q: Did you help them?
Q: Beautiful. We'll hear about it soon. Tell me, what was the mayor's name? Fliman what? Do not you remember? OK no, It is important.
So you marry Mr. Katran ... who lives in Damascus but worked in Haifa?
A: Yes. His family in Damascus.
Q: And he lives in Haifa. What did he do in Haifa? When did he arrive in Haifa?
A: He was an agent of someone who sold fabrics from England.
Q: So you mean he was an agent of someone who sold fabrics? What? A great merchant from England?
Q: And he was his agent here in Haifa?
Q: When did your husband come to Israel?
A: ... 1920
Q: And he lives here in Haifa?
Q: How did you get to know each other?
A: It ... Damascus is very small.
Q: Damascus is small and he knew you were in Beirut?
A: No. He came, his parents told him to come.
Q: And you knew and got married. Where did you get married?
A: In Damascus. At my grandfather's house. Large, beautiful house.
Q: What's Grandpa's name?
A: ... Farhi.
Q: After the wedding what did you do?
A: We came to live here. My husband worked and I ...
Q: Did you move to Haifa?
Q: Where did you live in Haifa?
FROM HERE ON IT IS GOOLETRANSLATE withou my corrections 😊
A: He had a house in Bat Galim, but the furniture was very old, which I brought from Beirut. So we went to the house in Hadar. there were
Very few houses.
Q: On which street?
A: Palace Street.
Q: Where is Palace Street? Near which street?
A: I do not remember names.
Q: Was your street near Prophets Street?
A: That, the prophets.
Q: Ah, on Prophets Street?
Q: Is there a small street on Neviim Street called Armon?
A: No. It was formerly called a palace.
Q: Was Prophets Street formerly called a palace?
Q: I did not know. And where did you live in the prophets?
A: Near the cinema. There's a cinema there, no? by him. There was no cinema, there was nothing. There were three houses.
Q: Three houses on Prophets Street?
Q: It was a big house?
A: Like everyone else. Three rooms and ...
Q: Was it an apartment?
Q: Apartment in housing? In a shared house?
Q: So you live there, what are you doing?
A: One year. Nothing. What to do?
Q: Were you a housewife?
A: Yes. I moved to Bat Galim.
Q: Then you moved to Bat Galim?
A: Arrange Bat Galim, expand, and I went to Bat Galim.
Q: In Haifa on Haneviim Street, when you lived there with your husband for the first time, were there other Syrians?
A: There were three Jewish families.
Q: From Syria?
A: No. One of the Egyptians, was chairman of the bank.
Q: Which bank? Anglo-Palestine?
A: No. Do not remember. There are things that ...
Q: All right. Was the bank manager.
A: And there was another family and we.
Q: When did Syrians start arriving in Haifa?
A: Syrians? This was during the war.
Q: Which one?
A: First. When they sent to exile all the Jews from here, everyone. Like Saturn Levy, like the mayor of Tel-Aviv, and everyone who worked at PIKA. They were all sent to find out. Two hundred ...
Q: To Damascus?
A: To Damascus. So there was contact between the Jews and these guys.
Q: There was contact between the ... and the Jews of Damascus. There were connections.
A: Yes. They taught them Hebrew and brought them here.
Q: The young guys from Damascus?
Q: Who were the first to come to Haifa from Damascus? Who do you know?
A: It's hard for me.
Q: What do you remember. How many families came?
A: I do not know. Many families left Damascus and came. Those who made the big cinema in Tel Aviv, what are their names?
Q: Oh yeah, I know who you're talking about. In the heart of Tel Aviv, which performed the opera. Cinema and opera. I will mention soon Their name. But they came to Tel Aviv.
A: Yes, to Tel Aviv. The majority came. Very few came to Haifa.
Q: Who came to Haifa?
A: I do not remember. It was difficult to have contact with people. The houses were far away and there were no buses. It was hard
Q: And over time, after 1029, after World War I, you saw Damascus or Dairymen arrive
A: A lot.
Q: A lot came?
A: Yes. All the guys who learned Hebrew came here. There were ... Hebrew in Damascus, and they came here.
Q: Where did they usually live?
A: ... she will tell you.
A: Yes. She knows more than I do. I had no contact with the people.
Q: Yes, but you probably went to the market.
A: No. I was a princess.
Q: But you must have heard. Where did the Damascus usually live?
A: In Harat Elihud.
Q: I'm talking here in Haifa. you do not know?
A: The majority in Tel Aviv. Very little here. I do not
Q: How many families about?
A: I know? Can I remember that since? What do I already have?
Q: All right. After years of living in Haifa, do you remember when many Damascus came to Haifa?
A: When they opened the University of Jerusalem here, there were people who were invited to the university. The Syrians knew that then
Started against the Jews. Came twice to kill us at home, but ... we had another place to go in and they did not
Know it. But they wanted ...
Q: Were the Arabs against the Jews? In what year more or less?
A: In the year the university opened. 1925, no?
Q: On Mount Scopus? In 1925- more or less. Yes.
A: Exactly at 1925-
Neighbor. So you say that because they opened the university on Mount Scopus the Arabs here in Haifa did to you Trouble?
A: Not in Haifa. In Damascus.
Q: Ah, in Damascus. I realised. And that's why they came ... here?
A: No. Rich Jews came ... with the Turks. All the ... families from the Turks came to Damascus and lived in Harat Elihud and some ...
Q: Elsewhere in Damascus. You're talking about the exiles, right? Those who were exiled to Damascus? The Jews from the land of the Turks
Passed them on to discover?
Q: But then you say that Jews from Damascus came here to Haifa in 1925
A: It's after the war.
Q: After the war, okay. Between the first and second wars, do you remember that Jews came here to Haifa from Damascus,
Q: How did they come? Much?
A: A lot. Young guys came a lot.
Q: Where did they live?
A: In kibbutzim.
Q: I'm talking about Haifa.
A: ... I did not have ...
Q: In Haifa you did not have ...? are good. What happens to you next? You're with your husband. What does your husband do next?
A: ... was already working alone.
Q: Became independent? Was he no longer the merchant's agent from London?
A: No, because he closed the business. So my husband started working alone.
Q: In what?
Q: Was he importing clothes? Would he bring clothes?
A: Yes. From Manchester.
Q: From Manchester in England did he bring fabrics? And he sold them here in Haifa?
Q: Over the years, let's say in World War II, 1030, when Hitler came to power in Germany, do you remember that
Are there more Jews here than Damascus?
A: There already have been. Slowly. Either here or in America.
Q: And did they come to Haifa?
A: Yes. Very few.
Q: Where did they go the most?
A: To Tel Aviv.
Q: After World War II, do you know that Jews came on foot from Syria?
Q: They came to your house? Maybe you took care of them at home, gave them some
A: No. who will? We were children.
Q: No, after you were already married in Haifa here, Jews came from Damascus to Israel, to Haifa?
A: It was very difficult. They came on the run and did not come like that ...
Q: Did your husband help them live in the country in the first time?
A: According to the ability. You know, it was, I know what it was? Every day was something. How many times did they want to kill us. every time ... . They wanted to come and kill us .... One Englishman saved us.
Q: In Bat Galim, did some Syrians also live?
A: No. There were only three Sephardi families. We, the rabbi and another family.
Q: What rabbi was that?
A: I do not know.
Q: Was there one rabbi in Bat Galim?
Q: Three Sephardi families, that's all. But the Syrians were not there?
Q: There were no Beirut either?
A: Neither Beirut nor Syrians.
Q: I got it. After the war was there any charity organization to help Jews from Syria that your husband participated in?
A: No. They did not want us. They did not want ...
Q: Who did not want you?
A: They came to the Sephardic community, got what they wanted, and we were done. Same priva, no.
Q: What is a Priva?
A: I mean, me and him, no. The Sephardic community, he was ...
Q: Was he a member of the Sephardic community?
A: Yes. Went there.
Q: Did they help the Jews a little?
Q: From what year was your husband a member of the Sephardic community?
A: From the year they founded it. Whenever the workers' part was here, then the Spaniards did it alone.
Q: Did the Sephardim set up their own committee?
Q: In what year did they found it?
A: Maybe at 39- '. Almost like that.
Q: More or less. Here in Haifa.
Q: Did they have any contact with the Sephardic community in Jerusalem?
A: No. Jerusalem has always been alone.
Q: Your husband was a member of the Sephardi community committee, where they gave help to Jews who came from Syria or Lebanon?
A: Syria did not have to. They either came to kibbutzim or went to Tel Aviv.
Q: But they also came to Haifa.
A: Very little. can not ... . A brother helped his brother and a sister to her brother, so are the families. But no such thing, organization no Was.
Q: Was there no such aid organization? Did each family help itself?
A: Yes. Whoever wanted something came to the Sephardic community. That's how it was.
Q: Your family, the Katran family and the Farhi family, came here to Haifa?
A: Farhi moved to Beirut. My brothers grew up a bit and moved to Beirut. They sold the house in Damascus. Katran, after 1936, moved here.
Q: In 1936, the Katran family moved here to Haifa?
Q: Where did they live in Haifa?
A: On Herzl Street.
Q: Where about? in the middle of?
A: No. Near the synagogue.
Q: The Syrian synagogue?
A: No. The Great Synagogue.
Q: The Great Synagogue of Haifa?
Q: What did they do, the Katran family? What were they doing?
A: The son was a lawyer and the father worked with my husband.
Q: The father of the Katran family who came to work with your husband in the cloth trade?
Q: What other family came here?
A: I know?
A: I do not know.
Q: The Katran family and that's it?
Q: Was the Katran family big here in Haifa?
A: Some children.
Q: But not how many families?
Q: Do you mean your family and the family of Katran your husband's brother?
Q: What was his name?
Q: After the war, the state was established, right? There was a war of independence and the state was established. In the war and after the war, have you seen other Syrians here in Haifa?
A: It was impossible to leave Damascus ...
Q: It was difficult to leave Damascus.
A: The Muslims did not give. ... Whoever went is smuggling, so how do we know?
Q: But they ran away.
A: With knowledge, I did not know.
Q: What did your husband know?
A: He knew, he had a license from the agency to help whoever came. that's it.
Q: So he was also an agency man? Did he work for your husband's agency?
Q: As what? what did he do?
A: I had one too. I do not know. There are secret things that are not told to a woman.
Q: Yes, but after years he must have told you what he did.
A: No. I did not, everyone worked at what they wanted.
Q: But you say your husband worked for the agency as well.
A: Did not work. It was ... like that. Do not know ...
Q: Did he help the agency?
Q: What did he do there at the agency? What help did he give them?
A: If someone wanted to come and did not have papers, then he would arrange the papers for him. He would give him some advice to do. I know? I did not know that.
Q: But then, after years, he told you?
A: Did not tell me and I do not want to know.
Q: So how do you know he was helping people anyway?
A: I know people came
Q: To your home?
A: No. In her favor. I worked for her for 35 years, volunteering for the Sephardi community, so I heard there. So what?
Q: Have you heard of the Sephardi Community Committee?
Q: Have you been volunteering there for 35 years?
Q: In the years you worked on the committee of the Sephardi community, you heard about giving aid to Jews from Syria who come here to Haifa?
A: I do not think they helped. They [the immigrants] went to the labor office and did not come to us.
Q: Ah, did they go to the Histadrut?
A: Yes. Was better, got better. We what could [give]?
Q: You could not give much so they went to the Histadrut.
Q: I got it.
A: They started building this house
Q: The Sephardi nursing home?
A: Yes. It was very difficult. Halfon and my husband and I. Here I have ...
Q: ... this house, you say that Halfon, your husband and you founded this nursing home?
A: Yes. They came to us now in the Sephardi community and said they did it. This is not true. They came a year after we opened.
Q: I mean there are some who say they founded it?
Q: But the founders are ...
A: I'm silent.
Q: You know the truth.
A: I have here, now look, piece
Q: On the wall.
A: M ... that he thanks us here.
Q: "To Mrs. Mary and Mr. Yehuda Katran, in appreciation of our joint work in establishing the Sephardic Nursing Home in Haifa,
By Dekel HaCarmel Ltd. Is this the company that founded the nursing home?
A: Yes. It means everything, yes or no? small piece. Neighbor. What was Halfon's name?
Q: Avraham Halfon, Katran Yehuda and Katran Mary, you were the three founders of this nursing home. Why did you set up this nursing home?
A: I always went with people to get them into a nursing home. Every time I went with someone, they said that he does not speak Yiddish, and therefore there is no place for him. And that's not true. First I did not understand, after that I realized it was not will be ...
Q: What you understand is that whoever is a Sephardic who does not know Yiddish, is not accepted into a nursing home?
Q: So what did you decide?
A: We decided we had old people and their children could not take care of them. We decided to build this house.
It took three years until we could get a license. So we could not build without.
Q: When did you buy the space here?
A: We once had a bazaar. Every year we did a bazaar twice for the money.
Q: To get some funding you will have money for the Sephardic community.
A: Then came sensory father. We told him it was impossible.
Q: In what year was it?
A: Maybe 29 years, I do not know. Maybe more.
Q: More than 29 years.
A: When he was a sensory father it was more. So we told him. He loved the Sephardim He said - I will give a plot and you
Will be built.
Q: He gave the plot and said you would build a nursing home for the Sephardim?
A: Yes. But it was not easy.
Q: Need a lot of money.
A: A lot, and the Sephardim do not know how to give.
Q: So where did you collect donations from?
A: I went to America. To Argentina. I got [some money and more food. There was austerity here.
Q: Are you talking to me about the fifties?
Q: Did you bring money to the Sephardi community in Haifa and also food?
A: They sent us a lot of food, a lot of clothes. many things.
Q: Did you distribute this to the Syrians as well?
A: No. We distributed to whoever wanted.
Q: But there were also Syrians who came to receive?
A: I do not know. I did not ask anyone where he came from. I gave to whoever demanded.
Q: Did you not notice that maybe one community needs more help than another?
goat. The Syrians got along very well. I saw them, I went to the Syrian synagogue ...
Q: Where was the Syrian synagogue?
A: In Harat Elihud.
Q: No, here in Haifa?
A: I do not know anymore.
Q: On which street? Herzel street?
Q: More down?
A: Below. two
Q: Two blocks down? Hashomer Street?
A: On Hashomer Street, inside. You do not know where?
Q: Yes, but I want to hear it from you. Would you visit that synagogue there?
A: I do not, but sometimes, if there was something, I would go. There was a garden under the synagogue. I was working in this garden.
Q: A kindergarten for Syrian immigrants?
A: No. for everyone. There is no Syria and ... a child is a child.
Q: I got it. So it's for everyone, including the Syrians
A: For everyone. Every little kid who comes here.
Q: Of all this kindergarten, how many children were of immigrants who came from Syria?
A: I can not tell you.
Q: But were there?
A: Every child who needed, came. We had seven genes. At first there were seven genes. Slowly, [organization] mothers Facts took it. Said they would take better care of. ... carried all the children and we were left with only one kindergarten for the congregation the Sephardim. Do you know where the Sephardim are? In one nation.
Q: On Ehad Ha'am Street were the offices of the Sephardi community?
A: Yes. They were always there.
Q: What number in Ahad Ha'am?
A: 22 or 12. I do not remember. It was in the corner.
Q: Apparently it was 22. There you had a kindergarten of the Sephardi community?
Q: Have you established seven gardens throughout the city?
A: Yes. Down below were those who came from Greece. They did not have one so we opened it ...
Q: When the Greek immigrants arrived, did you open a kindergarten for them?
Q: And you say that then the organization of working mothers took all the genes?
A: We have one left of the Sephardi community. air intake?
A: In one of the people.
Q: Where are your offices?
Q: Very beautiful. What else did you do for the Sephardi community?
A: What did I do? It is enough.
Q: Have you worked all your life managing a kindergarten?
A: No. Slowly. Then kids at school.
Q: Did you also have a school?
A: No. Everyone who went to university, we helped them.
Q: Did you give them a scholarship?
Q: How many times a year have you given a scholarship?
A: I do not remember.
Q: Until what year did the Sephardi community distribute scholarships?
A: It is now a department.
Q: To this day?
A: Certainly. Today much more. In our time there was little. We did not pay much. But now they pay very nicely.
Q: There is a big fund you say.
A: Yes. And there are a lot of people. So we worked three. Now I saw, it was last week
Q: There was a conference, yes. How many were at the conference?
A: Full. The hall downstairs was full.
Q: On Ehad Ha'am Street?
Q: Ah, here in the nursing home?
Q: When did you finish building the nursing home?
A: 1013 (????)
Q: How many rooms are there approximately?
A: Look at the number. there is. 129 rooms.
Q: Now I understand that this nursing home does not accept non-Sephardim either.
A: Now he gets from Russia. They are all Russians. Here in this whole building there are four Sephardim.
Q: There are four Sephardim in every nursing home?
Q: On your floor. Yes.
A: We are 22. There are ...
Q: Are you 22 Sephardim in any nursing home?
Q: Here on this floor 22. I realised.
A: When you entered, you saw ...
Neighbor. On this floor, out of 22 rooms, four are just Sephardim.
A: No rooms. people. There are two in the room and there is one [in the room].
Q: How many Sephardim are there in this whole nursing home?
A: I can not tell you. Do you know how much?
Q: Do not know. I ask you because you are ...
A: People go and people come ...
Q: But what else is there, Sephardim or Ashkenazim here?
A: We are maybe 5 out of 199 Sephardim Very few. First of all Sephardim do not want to pay. This is the best place in Haifa. The second. The first is American and the second is here. And it is a very beautiful treatment and a great deal of cleanliness. And they do not want to pay.
Q: Is it expensive here?
A: Initially the income was $ 5,999 entry.
Q: Ah, that was the condition?
Q: How much per month?
A: I do not know. It depends on each one what he has. But there is order and there is cleanliness and there is everything you want. to me disrupt all the girls who work and all the money goes to work.
Q: For the wages of workers.
A: Everyone is not Sephardi.
Q: Why do Sephardim not want to come? Because it's expensive? OK. What more? What is the second reason?
A: It's expensive.
Q: Is that the only reason?
A: Yes. We can get people .... We were not long, my husband and I. My husband fell ill and died a year ago. A year after we opened.
Q: Ah, in 1998- he died?
A: Yes. And Halfon died. So what? I'm alone? Send me. They do not want women.
Q: They will run the Sephardi community.
A: Then there were other people.
Q: Other people came, I understand. Is there a nursing home here in Syria and Lebanon, in Beirut? Not here in the nursing home? The unit?
A: You know .... Someone came for a few days, died, left. There was one here
A: Maybe Syrian. I knew him from the Sephardi community. Was a few days and died. What is? The door of the bed.
Q: What do you mean?
A: I mean before bed. At this age, 02, what do you think I'll wait for? Bed.
Q: You'll be healthy, I know, it's okay. You look good, you are, God willing, clear. This is very important. What more
Did you do for the Sephardi community other than this nursing home?
A: Now I do not know what they are doing.
Q: But at the conference ...?
A: No. Do they accept me? No. They send me a letter and I send them money.
Q: Do you send them money?
A: Not much.
Q: Do you donate?
A: Yes. I'm a friend, I pay.
Q: Membership fees?
Q: All right, Mrs. Katran. Do you want to say something more about life here in Haifa?
A: I told you, about life I no longer know anything. I'm been here five years.
Q: And before that where did you live?
A: In Carmel.
Q: In your house in Carmel?
Q: Where do you live in Carmel?
A: In Moriah.
Q: All right. If you want to add something, how was life here in Haifa? Hard, not hard?
A: Here. I get along and they love me and share me ... you see.
Q: Nice and beautiful room.
A: I paid for it [while it was] under construction. I had money and paid for the room.
Q: You paid for the room under construction that you will have for the future.
Q: You took care of yourself when you were young, as they say. Very nice. I want to thank you for giving me the interview
This and have a good and healthy life. this is the most important. Thank you very much.
A: The lady you go to will tell you much more.
Q: Mrs. Alfia?
A: Yes, because her husband was ...
Q: At the agency?
A: Yes. And she knows much more than I do, that I did not feel.
Q: You had no contact with others then.
A: I worked with the kids, I worked with help. I have not worked in such things.
Q: You only worked with children.
A: Only with the Sephardi community.
Q: Thank you very much.